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Review / ‘The Inbetweeners 2′  (MA) *

IT takes a special kind of skill to confect and direct screenplays as unremittingly stupid, improbable, potty-mouthed, repetitively laboured, purportedly comedic yet so unfunny as both “Inbetweeners” and their 30 TV episode ancestors. Damon Beesley could probably retire young to enjoy a luxurious lifestyle on the profits of four louche lads from the Midlands who […]

Review / ‘Freedom’ (M)  ***

TIMOTHY Chey’s screenplay draws on verifiable historical characters for Australian Peter Cousens’ directing debut. In 1748, slave-ship master John Newton (Bernhard Forcher), after witnessing the abominable conditions for its human cargo, wrote the song “Amazing Grace”. Newton gave the bible his fiancée had given him to a slave child whose great-grandson Samuel Woodard (Cuba Gooding, […]

Review / ‘The 100-Foot Journey’ (PG) *** and a half

TWO restaurants face each other on the outskirts of a French provincial town. Le Saule Pleureur (The Weeping Willow) has one star in “Guide Michelin” but Mme Mallory (Helen Mirren) is desperate for more. Ambition could not be made of sterner stuff. Or tighter discipline. Mme’s sous-chef in training Marguerite (Charlotte le Bon) is as […]

Review / ‘Begin Again’ (M) *** and a half

THE only expectation I had about Irish writer/director John Carney’s film was that I’d probably find the music not to my taste. And so it was. However, its music-making processes compensated. Gretta (Keira Knightley) enjoys writing songs that others will perform. Her musical collaborator and bed-mate Dave (Adam Levine) is about to stray. Her best-friend […]

Review / ‘Snowpiercer’ (M) *** and a half

FROM South Korean filmmaker Joon-ho Bong comes a futurist cinematic parable that refuses to compromise on its discomfiting bits (from the opening frame until about a minute before the final credits). In the 2030 decade, a botched attempt to halt global warming has led Planet Earth to freeze solid and dead. Around it, squillionaire Wilford […]

Review / ‘The Keeper of Lost Causes’ (MA) *** and a half

AUSTRALIAN audiences may not know Mikkel Norgaard, but his film about a cold case involving a woman mysteriously missing for five years certainly stands proudly among crime thrillers based on Scandinavian novels. Colleagues find detective inspector Carl (Nikolaj Lie Kaas) hard to get on with. After a stakeout goes bad, Carl gets transferred to Department […]

Review / ‘Lucy’ (MA) *** and a half

FRENCH writer/director Luc Besson’s latest release combines science fiction, a genre that seldom charms me, with ultra-violence, a genre that can deliver great satisfactions. You can process “Lucy” from either of those points of view. What most enhances it is a view of the universe that cocks a vigorous snoot at creationism and treats science […]

Review / ‘A Most Wanted Man’ (M) *** and a half

THE history of cinema may well look upon Dutch director Anton Corbijn’s filming of John le Carre’s novel as valedictory for Philip Seymour Hoffman playing German intelligence chief Bachmann whose underlying humanity in the conflict between the good guys (most of us) and terrorist bad guys (the rest of us) puts him offside with the […]